Arran's Law

Chanelle's boyfriend Arran is accused of murder, and she goes on a one woman mission to clear his name.

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11. The Scientist

When I wake up, all I feel is pain.

 

My eyes burn and my head aches from crying all night. The palm of my hand stings from slamming it off of so many things yesterday. The knuckles of my other hand hurt like hell - when I came last night, I punched the wall. Real smart, I know, but it felt necassary. And, there is obviously the extreme pain of losing the only person that I love. Arran, my Arran, is all alone in a jail cell, when he should be here with me. And he didn't kill Miranda Lockhart. He sure as hell didn't like her, but he didn't kill her.

 

I open my eyes, and give myself more pain. The light is so bright it's unbelieveable. I close my eyes again, unable to cope with the searing pain. Even with my eyes closed the light seems bright. I wait a couple of seconds, and reopen my eyes.

 

The apartment looks the same as it did yesterday and two days ago. But two days ago, I still had Arran here with me. Two days ago, life had a meaning. Now my mere existance is meaningless. What's the point in living if he isn't here?

 

I roll out of bed, and get dressed. I put on skinny jeans, a black tank top, and a purple checked shirt. I'm on autopilot, my thoughts miles away (to be specific, they are five miles to the north west, where Arran is), so I turn on the CD player (the most expensive thing we have). But I soon wish that I hadn't.

 

The song that comes on is Arran's favourite song. It's Coldplay, 'The Scientist'. He always said that if he married me, he wanted that playing. I took it as a joke, but now it seems like a distant memory. As Chris Martin's voice drifts into my ears, I clench my fists. The music seems to be taunting me. I know how crazy that sounds, but the last twenty four hours have been the most crazy of my whole life. I miss him, I miss him so much. Ever since we met on the street that day, Arran has been the centre of my whole world. And now that he's gone, I have nothing. The world is cold and grey, with nothing warm or colourful in it. He's gone, and so is everything else. I was never completely sure that everything that he said would happen would happen. He talked to me about marriage, kids, a proper future. But now we'll never have that. If Arran is found guilty, then he has two options. He'll either spend the rest of his life in prison, which is a good sixty years. Or he'll die. A bitter taste spreads through my mouth at the unfairness of it all. Arran hasn't done anything wrong. He's not a killer. But he's from the Lawson estate. And in the eyes of the law,  if you're from the Lawson estate, you're bad news. If you're from the Lawson estate, then you are guilty of whatever you're charged with.

 

My fingers start to ache, I am squeezing them so hard. But I know that if I stop, then I'll smash up the CD player with my bare hands, and nothing will be able to stop me.

 

I endure this slow, agonizing torture until the song ends. Then I finally relax. I slowly stretch out my fingers, wincing at the pain. My palms are marked with little half-circles from where my nails have been digging in. But I'd much rather have this pain than the pain from losing control completely.

 

The apartment suddenly seems full of Arran. Everywhere I look, I see him. I have to get out of here before I lose my mind completely. I thump the CD player to turn it off, and run as fast as I can out of the door. Even out in the hallway, he's still here. I sprint down the stairs, so fast that I almost trip and fall. My momentum gathers, and I have to leap down the last eight or so steps. My feet and ankles protest, but I ignore the pain. All that matters is getting away from here before I go insane.

I charge out of the door of the complex, and collide head on with a solid body.

 

I stumble backwards, almost falling on my arse. I regain my balance, and look at who it is that I've just run into, praying that it's not one of the gang leaders. When  I realize who it is, I breathe a sigh of relief.

 

"Conor! Oh my God, sorry!" I say, still catching my breath. He smiles at me, just a little. He is the only person in the world (besides Arran) that I'm happy to see.

"It's cool. I was hoping to run into you, but not, you know, literally." He says, flicking his hair out of his face.

"Why? What's up?" I ask, hoping that it's nothing bad.

"Well, I said that Arran and me used to be... friends. And you are obviously completely convinced that he is innocent." I nod so hard my neck hurts. "Well, so am I."

I gasp in shock, my mouth actually falling open. "Really?"

"Yeah. Arran's not a killer."

"Thank you, you are the best person I've ever met!" I exclaim. Conor holds out his hands, like a shield almost.

"Steady on!" I laugh. Just a little laugh, but still a laugh.

"I was actually heading over to the Lockhart house - "

"To stir up trouble?" Conor asks.

"Basically, yeah. Want to come?" Conor grins, and it reminds me of Arran. I'm caught between laughing and crying. I wonder again what exactly their relationship was.

"Of course. Let's go."

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